My first post here!

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by phastroh, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. phastroh

    phastroh Do Not Listen To Me!!!

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    Hi everyone and glad to be here haha,

    I just purchased my first tank for saltwater and I am currently waiting for a boat load of equipment to arrive. I know everyone has their own way or idea of the best way to go about this hobby but here is a list of what I decided to buy. I basically made my choices after reading and talking to various people locally.

    Ok first I purchased a drilled 80Gallon Bowfront tank with stand that has a top and bottom. It also came with Aqualife 48" White, Blue and Moonlights(T5 bulbs for the 48"s) I paid $450 for all of it which seemed like a good deal.

    Next I just ordered the following items for it.

    Aqueon Proflex Model 2 that I plan to put a refugium in.
    Corallife 125Gal Super Skimmer(going in sump)
    Mag Drive 9.5 Pump for in sump placement
    Quiet One 800 Pump(to go with UV Sterilizer)
    Turbo Twist 3x Sterilizer
    Fluval "E" heater 300W
    2 - Aqueon Circulation Pumps (Model 1250)

    Now I still need a few tools like a refractor and I was thinking of getting an RO machine(small one) and of course I will need things like sand and rock and plumbing.

    I was also going to put the plumbing together with a lot of those gate valves and the pvc connectors you can easily unscrew to make changes or fix things.

    Ok sorry for the ton-o-info but I was to get it all out there so here are my questions.

    Do I seem to be on the right track with my choices?
    Do I really need an RO?
    Would it be better to place the UV in-line instead of hanging it off the back? I was going to build it into the return line before it returns but didn't want to load down the return water pump(Mag Drive) so that is why I purchased the tiny Quiet One pump.

    I totally understand there will be people who say WTF you bought bad stuff or the wrong things but I choose the recommended units from Aqueon for the sump and so on so I hope it isn't that bad.

    I just figured I am here to say hello and let people know why I joined. I know zero as far as fish care and some things so I should have time here to learn as much as I can from the experienced.

    As far as fish I am not there yet. I have ideas but nothing permanent.

    Thanks for having me.
     
    phastroh, Dec 7, 2010
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  2. phastroh

    BL1 ............. Moderator

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    Welcome to the site!

    To answer your questions, most of your choices look good. The only thing that I would suggest you switch out is the skimmer. They are notoriously difficult to get working correctly, if at all. You don't need RO water, you can use distilled instead but, in the long run it will end up cheaper and easier to get an RO/DI unit. You don't want to use tap water because it can leak metals into the water and will create huge algae problems in your tank.
     
    BL1, Dec 7, 2010
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  3. phastroh

    phastroh Do Not Listen To Me!!!

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    THanks for the info.

    Well I read some about skimmers and have never read anything bad about the Coralife Skimmers. I actually always read that they work well.

    I also don't know anything about them myself so any opinion is based on only what I read.

    What kind of skimmer could I use in its place?

    I am kind of bummed to hear that because it will just slow me down as I can't really do much without the one I use because I kind of just want to slap it all together at the same time.

    Now I know putting it in afterward is no trouble but of course that would be no issue as long as I don't have anything in the tank(sand or rock) I guess I could always slap the water in.

    My plan was to connect it all in a dry run, then mark it all.

    Then put it together where it is going and do a test run for a few days with just tap water and drain it. I wanted to do this to test for leaks and see how it sounds.

    I was thinking of closing the back and try to muffle any sounds.

    I don't think using tap water just to leak check will be an issue as I have been using it to fill and clean a few times. It was covered in algea and I had to fill scrape and drain then used a razor then filled it and wiped and scrubbed and drained now it has been just sitting with water for a few days.

    I left water in it in the garage so anything that fell in it would be in water and not on the glass. Silly but oh well.
     
    phastroh, Dec 7, 2010
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  4. phastroh

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    The Coralife skimmers are very touchy and tend to flood quite frequently. That's not a problem if you are using it in-sump -- the water will just run back into the sump. It is a problem if you are running it HOB. Then all your tank water ends up on the floor. I don't recommend that brand of skimmer for that reason. They are very difficult to adjust and get working.

    For the same price range, you can get an Octopus skimmer, which is miles and miles ahead of the Coralife skimmer.

    How many bulbs are in your light? If it's only 2 bulbs, that's not strong enough to keep corals. If you want to keep corals and stuff like clams and anemones, you should get a light with at least 6 T5 bulbs, preferably with individual reflectors. T5s are a great choice for that size tank, but two bulbs are not strong enough to support photosynthetic animals. I'd recommend the Current Nova Extreme Pro 48" lights for your tank.

    I had an old set of a 48" T5 fixture with 4 bulbs sitting around that I tried to use for my 90 gallon tank. Everything but the low light mushrooms withered away and died under such low lighting. You definitely need a lot more for an 80 gallon tank.

    Everything else looks great. You can get a good RODI unit for around $150.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2010
    Bifferwine, Dec 7, 2010
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  5. phastroh

    phastroh Do Not Listen To Me!!!

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    The light has 4 bulbs in it and 8 L.E.D.'s

    2 are white and 2 are blue

    2 - T5 HO 420/460 54W

    2 - T5 HO 10,000K 54W

    8 - L.E.D. Moon Lights

    Is that not good enough? The stores all said it was good for soft coral and a few hobbyist said I could actually do some hard corals with it.
     
    phastroh, Dec 7, 2010
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  6. phastroh

    JBowden Reefin' Housewife

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    Hello and welcome to the site! You'll get all your questions answered and then some :D
     
    JBowden, Dec 7, 2010
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  7. phastroh

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    I don't think it will be enough. For soft corals, maybe. But you will get bored with soft corals very quickly. You will basically be limited to leathers, zoanthids and mushrooms with that light. If you are going to change anything in your equipment list, you need to change the light. Like I said, I tried to keep corals under a 4 bulb T5 setup over my 90, and stuff didn't live. Check out the Current Nova Extreme Pros instead. For T5s, a good rule of thumb is to aim for at least 4 watts per gallon for low light corals, even more for moderate light corals like LPS. You are pushing around 2 to 3 watts per gallon with those lights, and they probably don't have individual reflectors.
     
    Bifferwine, Dec 7, 2010
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  8. phastroh

    phastroh Do Not Listen To Me!!!

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    Thanks and yes I can see that already.

    I am aiming to just take it slow and start small and go on from there. You know learn this so it is easy(easier) then move onto a 150 Gallon.

    I can tell after seeing some they are only like $1500(give or take) for a huge tank and stand. That is cheap compared to the accessories.

    I will just take all my rocks and so on from here over there one day. Then my kids can have this for a freshwater tank in their room. Well when they are older, only 2 now.

    So I talked to a few people around here and they seem to say it isn't so "every second watch the tank" like you read. I mean yes it is something time consuming but that once you are doing it that it becomes really easy.

    I am thinking after reading stuff I need a spare tanks for sick fish and the list goes on. It is cool but I hope I don't run into a ton of problems.

    I saw one guy had a 50 gallon sump for his 150 gal tank. Well it was a refugium but it had fish and everything just like a regular tank.

    I am not to worried about this but I just learned the skimmer I bought it a pain to use so I considering sending it back before I open it.
     
    phastroh, Dec 7, 2010
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  9. phastroh

    phastroh Do Not Listen To Me!!!

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    It is a Aquaticlife Model # LF2-48 and each bulb has its own reflector.

    I get what you are saying about the corals but I have no clue what any of them are called or look like.

    If I change my lights it will be a while and if I change them it will be for more than just soft corals. I didn't want to deal with the Metal Halide lamps but the local store had hard and soft corals using only T5s.

    Yeah they were pretty close to the bulbs compared to being at the bottom of the tank. Maybe I can slap them up high so i can get some cool ones?
     
    phastroh, Dec 7, 2010
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  10. phastroh

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    You don't need metal halide lights. You can keep anything you want under T5s. You just need more T5s, IMO. I only use T5s over my tank. I actually prefer them to metal halide. So it's not an issue of you not being able to keep what you want under T5s. It's an issue of you need more T5 bulbs.

    Keeping the corals higher up will give them more light.
     
    Bifferwine, Dec 7, 2010
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  11. phastroh

    phastroh Do Not Listen To Me!!!

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    Well I guess I have some time to get better or I mean more lights.

    I really wish I would have come here before I got this skimmer. Now I have to send it back and blah blah blah UGHHHH!!!!!

    I think my local store had the Octopus Skimmer and I was like well these seem popular. I just never read they were a pin to deal with.

    I don't want to go through putting it in place just to rip it out.

    I can't believe they suck that bad. How can they sell any of they stink so much.

    I will see. I am sure you can see how I feel after making a big order and now having to return something and wait if I can't find one local.

    Boooooooooooo!
     
    phastroh, Dec 7, 2010
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  12. phastroh

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Like I said, if you are using the Coralife skimmer in sump, its problems are not very...problematic. Flooding is its #1 issue. Using it in-sump eliminates the flooding problem.
     
    Bifferwine, Dec 7, 2010
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  13. phastroh

    Smitty

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    Hello and welcome.
     
    Smitty, Dec 7, 2010
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  14. phastroh

    phastroh Do Not Listen To Me!!!

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    Ok I will see what happens. I went diving through the web about these skimmers and most of the complaints were from 5 years ago.

    I can't believe they still have the same problems this long after.

    I think I would rather get better lights first.

    I am also thinking about putting a basket type filter on my return. It is a factory drilled tank and it has the overflow in the corner but the PVC is just like a candycane with a small hole drilled in the side. I am guessing that is for keeping it from flooding and so that it will start up again when it comes back on.

    Anyway I was thinking of putting the filter in case something big decides to make its way into the overflow.

    Has anyone ever had a fish jump the overflow and get into the sump?
     
    phastroh, Dec 7, 2010
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  15. phastroh

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Yeah, it happens all the time. I use plastic garden mesh (from the hardware store) to block off the overflow teeth. But fish have still managed to find their way in, even with that. I don't think there's any fool proof way to prevent it!
     
    Bifferwine, Dec 7, 2010
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  16. phastroh

    phastroh Do Not Listen To Me!!!

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    Oh yeah watch me haha I will slap in a net like the Golfing Range or like they use for filed goals.
     
    phastroh, Dec 7, 2010
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  17. phastroh

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    That candy-cane shaped PVC piece is actually to reduce noise in the overflow. If you just have a hole in the tank, your tank will constantly sound like a toilet flushing. It's not to start it up again when the power comes on, because it works via gravity.
     
    Bifferwine, Dec 7, 2010
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  18. phastroh

    phastroh Do Not Listen To Me!!!

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    Aww I love the sound of a flushing toilet. That is it I am tossing the candycane.

    Seriously though, yeah I saw an article about how someone I guess invented it because his wife was complaining about the noise. Don't know if that is true though.

    I also thought I read that the hole was to break the syphon in case of a power outage.

    Maybe I got the wrong article or just didn't understand what I read. No matter though.

    I am going today to get my tarp to line my cabinet. I do not get my equipment till Thursday. I still need a good test kit and a few other things.

    Any tips on a complete and good test kit.
     
    phastroh, Dec 7, 2010
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  19. phastroh

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    You should drill siphon holes at the water line of your return lines -- those are to break siphon if the power goes out. In the overflow itself, it's not working via siphon. So there is no siphon to break. Water is forced into the overflow by the power of the return pump. When the power goes out, the return pump stops, water level in the tank stops rising, and no water will go over the edge of the overflow tower.

    There's no such thing as a "complete" test kit. The API Saltwater Master Kit has most of what you need -- pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. You will need to buy alkalinity separate, and calcium if you plan on keeping corals. API is a good brand for that price range. If you don't mind spending the cash, there are better, more expensive brands that are more accurate and easy to read. But API is fine for most purposes. You will also need a refractometer.
     
    Bifferwine, Dec 7, 2010
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  20. phastroh

    phastroh Do Not Listen To Me!!!

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    Won't the water leak out of the hole I drill.

    I think I saw a set-up where the was a small tube in the side of the return that had an elbow and pointed back down into the overflow section of the tank.
     
    phastroh, Dec 7, 2010
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